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Paul M. D'Amore

When Valentine’s Day Becomes a Health Hazard

No one prepares to spend Valentine’s Day with their sweetheart in the emergency room, but even this holiday can prove hazardous for some. If you’re planning something special this week or weekend, make sure to avoid making these common Valentine’s Day mistakes to keep you out of the hospital on your special night.

Candle House Fires
Candles can be extremely romantic, but not when they cause a fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly 8,700 house fires every year are caused by the improper use of candles- the majority of these accidents start in the bedroom. Candles can easily cause fire when they are placed too close to flammable objects, left unattended for long periods of time, or when placed within reach for children and pets where they can easily be knocked over. LED flameless candles are an excellent option to avoid accidents, but if you must use candles, keep them away from anything that can catch fire and always blow them out before leaving the room.

Driving After Too Much Champagne
Romantic nights can be extremely joyful with a little champagne. But if you are planning to make some toasts this week, do not also plan to drive. As with any holiday, the number of drivers under the influence of alcohol on the road increases around Valentine’s Day. To help keep your loved ones safe, consider staying home to celebrate or using public transportation or ride sharing options to get you to and from your romantic plans in one piece.

Food and Candy Allergy Nightmares
Most Valentine’s Day lovers look forward to a few sweet treats. However, you may want to do your research before spending a fortune on goodies this holiday. Over 15 million Americans experience some sort of food allergy according to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) and some can go into anaphylactic shock from just being within close range. The most common products to look out for when putting together school Valentines or preparing a special meal for your loved ones are tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, milk, and eggs. Always ask before giving food as a gift and read the labels carefully if you know someone has an allergy or sensitivity.

Home Cooked Disasters
A home-cooked meal can certainly add to the ambiance of a relaxing Valentine’s date, but not if you end up in the hospital before you can eat it. The anxiety and pressure of pulling off the perfect meal can easily cause distractions that lead to horrifying accidents in the kitchen if you aren’t paying attention. Serious burns, severe lacerations, and entrees that set the kitchen on fire are not so impressive to a dinner guest. Stay alert and relax when cooking or order fancy take-out to save time and stress.

Romance Gone Wrong
Going to the hospital with a cooking injury isn’t the most embarrassing accident that can happen on Valentine’s Day. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, February is considered one of the most dangerous months when it comes to ‘love injuries’, with many failed attempts to add some spice to a romantic night. Some romantic experiments have gone so horribly wrong they’ve resulted in internal organ damage, concussions, fractures, hemorrhages, poisonings, and other disabling injuries. Try to take it easy with the risk-taking this Valentine’s Day and don’t be afraid to seek medical attention as soon as something goes wrong- don’t wait.

Harmful Treats for Kids
Children have a knack for overdoing it sometimes when it comes to treats. Aside from the upset stomach your little one can get from eating too much candy, some children have deadly reactions to Valentine’s Day treats if no one is monitoring their consumption. Younger children who cannot read labels yet are at especially high risk if they have a serious food allergy that can result in a hospital visit. Make sure your child’s school is aware of your child’s food allergy and has a strict policy when it comes to food that can come into the classroom.

No Chocolate for The Pets
Pets who are curious about Valentine’s Day treats aren’t aware that they can be poisonous for them. Chocolate (especially dark chocolate) and candies containing xylitol can be extremely deadly for dogs and cats. Try not to share your love by offering a toxic treat to your furry friend or leave your Valentine’s gifts within their reach. Instead, opt for a new toy or appropriate treat to share the holiday spirit with your pet.

Use your best judgment this Valentine’s Day and don’t sacrifice safety in the name of love!

Topic: Health

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